An Open Letter to Holiday Shoppers Everywhere from ME, Mrs. Claus
By Kristin Fast, Guest Contributor and Mamarazzi
Well dears, it’s that time of year again… the time of year when one purchase can make or break many a relationship… the time of year when you ﬁnd yourself desperately succumbing to just any old thing because despite a month of thinking about it, 2 weeks of late night Internet browsing, and 4 days of running out to the local shops on your lunch hour, you’re still empty handed and have nothing to give your mother.
So you buy her a Snuggie and hope she gets the joke. Or maybe actually likes it! Because your mother, who Zumbas, day hikes and volunteers at the local chihuahua rescue is suddenly a helpless old woman who can’t stay warm and talk on the phone at the same time?
I think not my puppies.
Pour yourself a nice glass of eggnog, maybe with a splash of whiskey, and get comfy because I am here not to tell you what to buy but much more importantly, what not to buy this holiday season.
Drugstore gift packs. This includes drugstore cologne/perfume wrapped with a bottle opener or keychain but mostly anything with soap on a rope. Soap-on-a-Rope is the bane of every father’s Christmas stocking. Have you ever seen it in action? Of course not. Your father will smile and thank you and he will dutifully hang it in his shower where he may even try to use it and darlings, have you ever tried to wash yourself with a car shaped soap? It’s awkward. After this one half hearted attempt it will lose all distinguishing characteristics and it will hang, for months, a mocking blob, in the shower until your mother tosses it in a ﬁt of aggressive mildew removal.
Teddy Bears for anyone over the age of 16. I don’t care if that bear is wearing a festive outﬁt and comes with a box of cut rate chocolate… if it doesn’t have a serious piece of jewelry bling around its wee furry neck, it doesn’t belong under the tree.
Speaking of the under 16 set… itʼs important to address toys. Toys, as you know, are my forte, my specialité, my, as the kids say, thang. Iʼve seen toys come and Iʼve seen them go and trust me when I say, drum sets, eleventy billion piece “some assembly required” kits and dolls with teeny tiny shoes and purses, are only appropriate if you A) hate the parents of the recipient and B) are ﬁne living with the knowledge that someday, somehow, they will retaliate and you will be sad. So very sad.
If your gift for the small people in your life requires batteries, be certain that you include them. Tape them smartly to the front of the present, because the phrase, “Batteries Not Included” is known to strike terror in the heart of many a parent on Christmas morning… of course there will not be 3 D-Cell batteries or 12 AAAs ﬂoating around in the junk drawer and, over the hysterical sobbing of little Susie or Billy, the parents will curse you and be forced to trudge out to the only shop open on this national holiday, the local liquor mart, where they will pay twice as much for a shoddy and dusty package of batteries to a hostile and smug proprietor.
I’ve seen it happen. Again, one day, you will be so very sad.
Avoid anything “camp”. This includes the aforementioned Snuggie, as well as items such as the Chia Pet, the hanging tomato garden and most especially, the As Seen on TV Hat. There is just so very much wrong with this hat/video viewer that Santa threatened to put anyone who asks for it on the Naughty List. The very idea of grown ass men and women sitting around in a giant ball cap with what is basically a Tyco View-Master attachment is the stuff of which my nightmares are made…
Naughty lingerie. No one needs to be dressed up as a sexy elf (take it from me, they do not exist) or worse, a sexy Mrs. Claus. Men, if you want to see your wife or girlfriend in something a little racy, it is time to man up and make a stop if not at La Perla, than at least Victoria’s Secret.
Finally, I hope this next category need not be said, but unless your loved one has come to you and verbally stated, with at least 2 sober witnesses present, that all they really want this year is a gym membership/Wii Fit/Biggest Loser dvd collection, FOR THE LOVE OF DECEMBER never give anything that implies weight loss, ﬁrmer abs, or a perkier butt.
Once again, you will be sad. Very very sad. If you don’t believe me, ask Santa about Christmas 1997.
Gift giving can be a tricky mineﬁeld for the uneducated, so consider yourselves blessed as you set forth on your holiday purchasing with a clear understanding of what just constitutes a gift most horrible… remember, there is no such thing as a difﬁcult person to buy for, only lazy shoppers.